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The Native American Culture in The Red Convertible In the short story The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich the author contrasts the old way of life versus the new Erdrich does this through metaphorical symbols the color red convertible summer trip and the fancy dance Henry performs before his death Erdrich p 468 In the story the color red symbolizes many things The convertible is red Lyman also said his brother had a nose big and sharp as a hatchet like the nose on Red Tomahawk Erdrich p 467 Also when the brothers took their final journey Lyman says We started off east toward Pembina and the Red River Erdrich p 467 The color red in this story represents Henrys will to be free The convertible appears in a bright red because while driving the car Henry feels trapped by the white mans war Erdrich p 467 By returning to the Red River Henry regains his spiritual freedom According to The American Heritage book of Indians the Red Sticks were and anti-American faction that fought to keep the white man out and their heritage strong p 221 With this information the Red Sticks and the color red represented in the story can be linked in their feelings with anti-Americanism The American Heritage book of Indians p 221 Lyman says He said he wanted to give the car to me for good now it was no use Erdrich p 468 By Henry giving Lyman the red convertible he is foreshadowing his death In the Chippawa culture gifts are given to the family of the deceased The Chippawas of Lake Superior p 16 A remnant of the deceased was kept wrapped in birch bark this spirit bundle was then kept for a year and later given to the family The Chippawas of Lake Superior p 16 Lyman knows that Henry is preparing him for Henrys death by giving him the car Lyman states No way I
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